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‘The 100’ Showrunner on Why He’s Excited to Return to Space

Jason Rothenberg tells TheWrap his series will return to its sci-fi roots

All season long on “The 100,” the characters fought for ways to survive an impending death wave that would kill every human being alive.

In the final stretch of the season, one unorthodox idea became a possibility: space. Clarke (Eliza Taylor), Bellamy (Bob Morley), Raven (Lindsey Morgan) and their rag-tag team of eight now have just minutes to prepare a rocket which will give them one shot at propelling their way back onto the Ark that most of them dropped from in the pilot.

For showrunner Jason Rothenberg, a return to space has been a long time coming.

“[I’ve wanted to do it] forever, ever since they came to the ground,” Rothenberg told TheWrap. “I love sci-fi. I do feel like the show became — we lost that element for seasons two, three and most of four. I’m excited to get back up there.”

But as Clarke, Bellamy, Raven, Monty (Christopher Larkin), Harper (Chelsey Reist), Murphy (Richard Harmon), Emori (Luisa D’Oliveira) and Echo (Tasya Teles) pin their last hopes of survivale on a rocket to blast them into space, the majority of the Arkers and Grounders are below the Earth’s surface, in a┬ábunker that can supposedly withstand a nuclear blast.

After a roller coaster season, Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) ended up as the defacto leader of that group, an unexpected development for a girl who’s never felt like she belonged anywhere.

“She’s not a commander, per se,” Rothenberg said. “She’s not a grounder. She’s part-sky crew, part-grounder, perfectly suited to be the ruler of a group of people who are part of both… Octavia earned it, Octavia won the conclave. She beat the best of the best and came out on top, and then made a choice that was incredibly not selfish. She transcended tribalism and chose everybody, including her own people, who haven’t been that good to her. It was important to me that Octavia, if she was going to be in that position, earned it, had been someone who came to power because of merit. Not because of some kind of trick or birthright, it was something more than that.”

“The 100” season finale airs Wednesday, May 24 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.